Upperclassmen for the members of the Lisbon High School Competition Cheering team. From left to right, front row, Nikki Pagan, Sidney Douglass. Back row left to right, Olivia Clark, Kayla Roberts, Savannah Czechalski, Coach Nicole Adams, Molly Ryder, Emma Houle, Antigone Woodbury.(Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)

After winning the Class C state cheering championship last year the only way Lisbon could top that feat was to do better.

The Greyhounds did — in a way.

“The mindset going into the season was they wanted to improve their score at every competition,” Lisbon coach Nicole Adams said. “They wanted to keep upping the bar, adding more difficulty each time they took the floor.”

Lisbon did improve its score every competition, with a score 71.6 at this year’s states the Greyhounds’ best all year. It was even better than last year’s score. Alas, it wasn’t enough for another title, and Lisbon had to settle for runners-up.

“Unfortunately the outcome wasn’t what we had hoped for it to be, but I think that all of us girls understand that we did everything we possibly could and there’s nothing that we could have changed,” senior Sydney Douglass said.

The second-place finish came on the heels of dominating performances at the Mountain Valley Conference championship and Class C South regional championship. Then, the season ended with the Greyhounds’ best-ever finish at the New England championship — eighth out of 11 in their division.

It was a banner year for Lisbon, the 2017-18 Sun Journal All-Region Cheer Team of the Year.

“We had high expectations from everybody — our school, our fans — so we went in very determined, and we went in strong,” senior Kayla Roberts said. “Our overall goal for every competition is to always just improve our score.”

First came a 67.2 at MVCs, beating second place by five points. The Greyhounds then improved their score to 67.5 at regionals, a 12-point cushion over the runners-up.

“I think as we performed our routines only got better because we were getting more confident with our routine and confident with each other,” senior Savannah Czechalski said.

The strength of the Greyhounds was a seven-member senior class that made up almost half of the squad. They’ve been together since their freshmen year, when they helped Lisbon win its first cheering state title. That experience was key again this season.

“I think what motivated us the most was, us being seniors, this is like our real last season cheering, most of us our last year cheering,” senior Molly Ryder said.

The seniors (Douglass, Roberts, Czechalski, Ryder, Emma Houle, Nikki Pagan, Antigone Woodbury) will be moving on, but not before picking up plenty of hardware for their school — and raising the bar for the program moving forward.

“I think we raised it a lot,” Douglass said.

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